I heard on the radio one morning this week, it was the first day of Fall. How could that be? It's still 85 degrees! There are still wildfires burning, we haven't seen any rain in months and there aren't even any clouds in the sky! How could it be fall? I was shocked, and yet I started to notice a few things. First off: it was 39 degrees and barely light when I went to work. In the woods I saw leaves turning red, orange, and yellow. Geese are flying south and the elk are bugling. It really and truly is fall in the northwest.
All of a sudden it seems the garden is done and wilted, and the lawn grass is crisp and dead. And, even though I still need more firewood, it's time to start getting ready for hunting season. Hunting season is a special time for us. Not just because of the meat in the freezer and the chance to pursue game, but more because it is a season, a mindset and a feeling. Now is the time for studying the maps and choosing hunting spots. Should I try a new place or return to an old favorite? It's a time for trying out new equipment bought over the off season and breaking out the stuff I haven't seen in a year (new for this year: an internal frame for the wall tent... SO exciting!). And it's also time to break out the sweaters and slippers. Funny as it sounds, there is great comfort in reuniting with an old flannel after months apart. Best of all, it's time for crock pot dinners and hot toddy's. There is nothing on earth like coming how to a house full of the aroma of a good venison stew cooked all day in the crock pot. Couple that with a fresh baked loaf of bread from the bread machine and you've got a perfect fall evening made to order. Perfect save for one thing. After the stew and bread have been enjoyed to the max, now is time for a hot toddy.
Google it and you're bound to find countless recipes, but for me the perfect Hot Toddy needs only four things. Warm water, Honey, Lemon Juice and Whiskey. Here's how I do it: First off, fill the kettle and place it on the stove. Next, take a good deep mug and pour in a shot (or two) of blended whiskey. Return to the kettle and top off the mug with hot water (not boiling). Add a cap full of lemon juice, and finally a healthy tablespoon of honey. That's it! So nice and relaxing and it's healthy too! A tablespoon of honey every day has many health benefits from soothing sore throats to helping with seasonal allergies. The whiskey may or may not be healthy, but as long as you don't over indulge I doubt it's doing any harm.
With that I'll sign out and wish you all a happy Fall. As a clever guy once told me: "Fall is one of my four favorite seasons".